(USA Today) – Should the U.S. be worried about powerhouse Hurricane Matthew? While it is too early to know for sure, forecasters say there is cause for concern.
“The threat to Florida and the southeastern U.S. coast has increased,” the National Hurricane Center said Monday afternoon and into the evening. Life-threatening rain and storm surge was expected in parts of Haiti this evening.
There are basically two extremely wide-ranging scenarios after it batters the Caribbean: Either a direct hit, anywhere from Florida to Maine, or a miss, with the storm sliding up the coast but never making landfall.
“Coastal residents from Florida to Canada should be on the alert for possible impacts in a few days, especially given this hurricane’s strength and breadth,” said Weather Underground meteorologist Robert Henson.What will ultimately determine how close Matthew comes to the East Coast involves the timing and strength of large-scale weather systems spinning over the U.S. and the Atlantic, according to weather.com. Upper-level high and low pressure areas — whose forecast are difficult to pin down this far out — will either act to help pull the storm close to the coast or push it out to sea.
Projected Path and Intensity
- Jamaica: Monday night/early Tuesday
- Haiti/Dominican Republic: Monday night/Tuesday
- Eastern Cuba: Tuesday/Tuesday night
- Southeast & central Bahamas/Turks & Caicos: Tuesday afternoon into at least Wednesday night
Small, subtle changes in the path of the eye-wall, sometimes not resolvable until hours before the passage, can make a large difference on wind impact.
Note that even though certain locations may not be in the cone of uncertainty, impacts will be spread well beyond the edge of the cone.